The Princess and The Peas

Once upon a time there was a prince who wanted to marry a princess; but she would have to be a real princess. Of course she would. Back then there was no such thing as a prenuptial agreement. But this aside, he travelled all over the world to find one, but nowhere could he get what he wanted. Sound familiar? There were princesses enough, but it was difficult to find out whether they were real ones. There was always something about them that was not as it should be. Of course there was. So he came home again and was sad, for he would have liked very much to have a real princess. One evening a terrible storm came on … Suddenly a knocking was heard at the city gate, and the old king went to open it. It was a princess … But, good gracious! What a sight the rain and the wind had made her look. At this point it was hard to tell by looking at her if she truly was a princess, but for some reason the old Queen thought that by placing a pea under twenty mattresses and twenty eider-down beds they would be able to tell. On this the princess had to lie all night. In the morning she was asked how she had slept. “Oh, very badly!” said she. “I have scarcely closed my eyes all night. Heaven only knows what was in the bed, but I was lying on something hard, so that I am black and blue all over my body. It’s horrible!” Apparently this was how they worked out she was a real princess – all sexual innuendo aside – because nobody but a real princess could be as sensitive as that.

Cover of The Princess and The Pea by Hans Christian Andersen

When I was a child, I thought I might like to be a princess, and often acted like one I am sure; especially when it came to vegetables. As a foodie I find it astonishing the lengths I went to, to avoid consuming my veggies. I was often left sitting at the table, my plate of now cold limp vegetables in front of me, refusing to give in but not allowed to leave the table until I was done either.

Every now and then, on special occasions (my mother asked me to add this part to save her reputation as a good parent), we would eat in front of the television. Mum and Dad on the couch with their stable-tables and me on the floor between them at the coffee table. It was during these dinners I had the best advantage when it came to avoiding my vegetables, my peas especially. I would make sure no one was looking, take a handful and roll them behind me, right under the couch. It was genius. That was until Mum was doing a thorough cleaning one day and moved the couch to get under it. The peas made the loudest clanging noise as they shot up the vacuum hose and into the bag. It took her a moment to figure out what made the noise but needless to say, we ate at the table from that point on..

Peas in a pod

The fairy-tale is obviously not mine and I cannot take credit for it, that goes to Hans Christian Andersen, but I do want to clear up one point: my Mum was an excellent parent, and still is cx

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